Last updated on October 19th, 2023
The architecture of the Hungarian capital is uniquely diverse. Next to the many easily identifiable styles, it's the special one-of-a-kind types of buildings, like the Bálna, that make Budapest so special. The base of the building is provided by 19th century industrial style warehouses originally built to store and manage cargo transported by water, which is why they were located downtown on the banks of the Danube. However, as the significance of water transportation decreased over the years, by the 21th century, the warehouses became run-down. After a lengthy period of renovation and construction, the complex reached its current form in 2013, partially preserving its original style but with a new purpose and a daring new addition. The middle part of the warehouses was replaced by an elongated whale-shaped structure covered in glass triangles. This unique shape inspired its new name; “Bálna”, the Hungarian word for whale. The new building was originally intended to be a four-story shopping mall with a few additional event halls, but due to a lack of renters, its use changed with time. Nowadays, the Bálna is mainly used as a location for exhibitions, events and shoots, while restaurants and bars still operate on the lower levels. This transition was made possible by the building’s central location, its futuristic appearance and its useful facilities. The Bálna’s features include large empty areas with high ceilings, restrooms, showers and change-rooms, not to mention its underground car park, freight elevator and high voltage power sockets in nearly every part of the building.